Color and form as support for picture recognition in old age
Artikel i vetenskaplig tidskrift, 2001

This study examined the effect of color and form as support for picture recognition measured immediately and after a period of 20 minutes in two groups: a random sample of 80-year-old men and women, with a Mini-Mental-State-Examination (MMSE) score of >26 points (N=142), and individuals with confirmed diagnosis of Alzheimer's disease (AD) with a MMSE score ranging from 7-26 points (N=50). The result showed that individuals with AD could make use of spatial support for recognition at a significantly lower level than among the cognitively intact 80-year olds, but most interestingly with a similar pattern. Chromatic pictures had an advantage over achromatic ones on immediate recognition measured as less time consumption and a higher number of correct answers in both groups. However, after 20 minutes' retention time, achromatic pictures were better recognized than chromatic ones by both the 80-year olds and the individuals with AD. It is suggested that immediate recognition had most support from self-generated cues concerning color, in contrast to retained recognition where instead cues concerning form had the strongest impact. Gender and age had no influence on recognition. Visual function and abstract vs concrete objects showed a slight impact on the result. Factors of intelligence and memory in the group of 80-year olds only had a minor influence on recognition, contrary to dementia which had a profound impact. It is concluded that spatial support as to color and form could be used for recognition in old age groups. The result will encourage further experimental research in using coding and cueing strategies for future implications in clinical practice.




Visual Acuity

Neuropsychological Tests

Pattern Recognition



Color Perception

Form Perception

Random Allocation

Alzheimer Disease/physiopathology


Helle Wijk

Göteborgs universitet

Lars Sivik

Bertil Steen

Göteborgs universitet

Stig Berg


0394-9532 (ISSN)

Vol. 13 298-308